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Toronto’s Totem House built around vertical art gallery

Canadian architects Reza Aliabadi [rzlbd] designed the Totem House with an eye upward. This vertical house stand stall among its low-level neighbors, with a contemporary grey facade that delivers a hefty dose of drama to this quiet, residential hood. The brick exterior home comes with a cosmopolitan aesthetic perfectly suited to the well-travelled couple who calls its “home.” Spanning 1,9600 square feet, this urban house plan artfully integrates livable space, modern architecture and the environment, smack dab in the center of the city. This Toronto modern house is certainly one to see!

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From the architects, “The evolution of design was a simple geometrical obsession with squares and grids. Starting with ten 10-by-10-ft. squares carefully assembled on the linear site, logical modules were then dedicated to essential rooms in the house. The squares not only define the interior rooms, but they also formulate the boundaries of the backyard patio, the landscape, the parking area and the covered entry to the house. The totem sits on the central square dividing the living/dining area from the kitchen on the ground floor and the two bedrooms on the second floor.”


Minimalist interiors are bright and white, with an open concept layout that enhances the sense of space in this vertical house plan.


Living areas are organized around a central column housing a fireplace and art niches, surrounded by an open staircase that lets you experience the artwork on display from various angles. “The totem in Totem House is a vertical gallery that exhibits John and Robert’s souvenirs from around the world,” according to Reza Aliabadi. “Each piece has been carefully measured and placed in a designated niche inside the Tower.”


The kitchen is as cool and contemporary as they come, with simple white cabinetry, sans hardware, which brings visual order to this typically chaotic room in the house. Illuminated by contemporary lights, the white cabinets, countertops and walls practically sparkle.


The combination bedroom and ensuite bathroom are divided by a central glass shower, which leaves sight lines open while separating the sleeping area from the bath.


A large window floods the space with natural light and lends a serene, green scene to look out on as you relax in bed or bath.


This freestanding tub features a wonderfully soothing, organic shape, making a sculptural contribution to this spa-inspired space.

Reza Aliabadi

via Freshome
photo credit: Courtesy of Borxu Design



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